"The day I took my kids to the police station."

Her children were misbehaving. What this mum did next makes us want to stand up and cheer.

As a parent I’ve often thought of marching my, at times, wayward children to the police station and asking a police officer to have a stern chat to them about the consequences of unruly behaviour.

I know I’ve uttered thinly veiled threats about “getting Mr Policeman to pay us a visit”, but I’ve never had the gumption to follow through with it.  That is, until last Monday.

The day started out perfectly.  It was only seven-thirty yet the suds from the breakfast dishes had long since evaporated and Spiderman, George the Pig and Princess bags were all packed and lined up at the door, resembling a rogue band of misfits ready for action. Miss Six, with her minty breath and pigtail hair was quietly colouring in at the breakfast table and Masters Just-Turned-Three and Nearly-Four were crowding over the Lego box. The dog and cat had called a truce on their usual antics and the pet fish was swimming slow, methodical circles in his glass universe. I did a mental high-five. We were ahead of schedule. If there was such a thing as a gold star morning, this was it.

I quietly retreated to the shower, and as the hot water began to awaken tired muscles, I relaxed into the morning.  Whilst running through the mental checklist of the day ahead, the water pressure suddenly dropped.  Poking a shampoo-lathered head out, I held my breath and listened. High-pitched squeals, followed by proclamations of “DO IT AGAIN!” were echoing down the hall. I cursed and recalled the episode last week when the boys decided to create an indoor slip and slide in the hallway with liquid soap and buckets of water.  Still soapy and dripping wet, I rushed toward the source of the commotion.

As I rounded the corner to the kids’ rooms to confront the source head on, I stopped.  It took a few moments to take it all in.  There was an up-ended craft box, glitter and stickers, glue and fuzzy little ball things spewed everywhere.  There was water, lots of water.  And red and blue ink.  Every single wall and floor in the bedroom and down the hall was splashed with red and blue.  And in the middle of it all were two little boys who moments ago were clean, dressed and happily playing Lego, now naked and dyed from head to toe. “LOOK MUM, WE’RE FLICK PAINTING!” exclaimed Master Nearly-Four, waving an ink-laden straw around whilst Master Just-Turned-Three squealed with delight.


I don’t really know what the sound was that escaped my lips.  I think it was somewhere between a wail and a yelp.  Either way, it instantly sobered the mood.  After marching the naked impressionists to the shower, barking out words such as “Unacceptable behaviour” and “Inappropriate use of craft materials” I sank to the floor, my wet hair still plastered to my forehead.  Tears pricked my eyes as I questioned whether I had the emotional fortitude to handle such antics before my morning coffee.  The clean up effort was a monumental, all hands on deck affair.  So much for a gold star morning.

When we finally made it to school drop off it was good half an hour after the morning bell.  I cringed as Miss Six explained to her teacher she was late because she had to strip to her undies and scrub the floor.  I figured a picture speaks a thousand words, and as her brothers and I were standing there looking like the side effects of a botched tie-dye experiment, she would refrain from calling children’s services.

Corralling my remaining children into the mini-van I pushed forward.  Suddenly Master Nearly-Four decided in his usual stubbornness that he wasn’t going to wait until we stopped to retrieve his toy from the floor – he wanted it now.  Within seconds he was unbuckled and out of his seat, and no amount of bellowing threats from Santa’s naughty list to confiscating Minecraft was encouraging him back in.  As I screeched to a halt (safely of course, I had a kid on the floor!) I reached over and grabbed my wayward child.  By this time he had assumed the “stiff board” position to prevent car seat re-entry, and as I wrestled him back in I was mildly aware of my exposed “brickies crack” flashing passing motorists who happened to cast an unfortunate glance through my windscreen.


Recovering from the intense car seat stand off, and still emotionally fragile from the painting debacle, I passed the police station and, without a second thought, parked.  I marched my boys inside and had a brief word to the clerk.  Within moments a big, burly and somewhat bemused policeman appeared, and in a very authoritarian voice ordered my diabolical duo into the interview room.

As my little people sat opposite the officer, wide-eyed and silent, their respect for him was palpable.  He spoke about the importance of car safety and, after I confirmed that the bluish-red tinge to our arms and legs was the remnants of their morning shenanigans, he went on to talk about the expectation of being good for mum and dad.  They hung onto his every word, and when the policeman offered his hand, my boys shook it proudly, grinning from ear to ear.

As we drove away from the police station I felt the tide had turned and we were back on track.  The respect for authority figures had been restored and I had loads of mileage up my sleeve. I realised that gold star mornings don’t exist in our circus, but as with any extravaganza, the show must go on.  Each day starts as a blank canvas, ready in anticipation for us to add the colour.  In our house it’s red and blue.

Have you ever had to take your child to the police station? What was the experience like?

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